I’ve been very clear since I’ve started writing this blog that I’m writing it as a homeschooler, but that my opinions and advice come from a Christian perspective. When I was growing up, I assumed that everyone who homeschooled was a Christian. I wasn’t alone in this assumption, and it was a pretty safe bet in my community in rural Manitoba that if you homeschooled, you were a Christian.
It’s not uncommon for families to homeschool for religious reasons, but I think the assumption that you need to do it for religious reasons can be harmful for a few reasons.
- It contributes to the homeschooling stereotype. Little House on the Prairie kids who are sheltered and cry when you speak to them and read only the Bible. Not that religion equals ignorance, but for many people, it is tied to sheltered and naive children.
- It may deter families who want to homeschool but feel as though it’s not an option for them. It’s perfectly okay to homeschool simply because YOU want to be the main influence in your child’s life! It doesn’t have to be about faith.
- It puts undo pressure to homeschool your kids if you want to be a “good” Christian parent. Homeschooling isn’t for everyone, and if we push the rhetoric that you need to homeschool your kids in order to teach them about God and faith, and doing otherwise means that you’re not doing enough, it’s harmful to everyone involved. Parents have enough pressure already–let’s not add to it by pushing a false narrative.